The low Fodmap diet for irritable bowel syndrome is complex, and one of the confusions can be around gluten-free versus low Fodmap. In particular, which flours are safe for us? Can we have any gluten-free flour or are some of them high Fodmap? In this video, I clear up this question.
Transcription for Low Fodmap Flours
Welcome to your weekly video. Today I’m going to talk to you about flours and which ones you can use and which ones you can’t. Of course, I’m talking about the flours you use in baking, not in those that grow in the garden. Now there are several flours that we can use and several that we can’t use as well. Normally when you go gluten-free, you have to use a flour mix – a few different ones together which have different properties. Otherwise, you’re not going to get an end product that sticks together because the gluten in wheat flour is what makes it stick together, so we have to substitute that. If you buy a gluten-free flour – a processed one from the supermarket – that will already have that taken care of. But normally how they make sure that everything sticks together is they add gums, and there are different gums like guar gums and xanthan gums. We know that they’re low FODMAP, but they ferment in the gut and can cause problems in some people. That doesn’t mean they will in you, but you do have to be aware of that. I personally prefer to make up my own flour mix. It’s really easy and that way I can avoid the gums. I use tapioca flour to take the place of the gums or the gluten because tapioca flour, if you wet it and then heat it, joins together like a gum – a little bit like corn flour which is also low FODMAP. And I’m very partial to tapioca flour because I went through a period of being Paleo in my effort to find my solution for my gut issues, and that was one of the flours that I used during that period. And I learned to like it and to kind of conquer it because it’s a bit tricky when it goes all gunky, but it does a great job of holding your products together.
The mix that I use is rice flour, and that can be either white or brown, and potato starch, and tapioca flour. To make up two cups, I have one and a third cups of the white rice flour, and a third of a cup of the tapioca flour, and a third of a cup of the potato starch. And that is what I do all my baking, pastries, etc. with, and it works well, and it sticks together.
Talking about potato starch – potato starch and potato flour are two different things, even though they have similar results. Potato flour is the flour made from the whole potato, whereas the potato starch is the starch that’s been extracted from the potato. But both of those are low FODMAP, so you can use them.
I want to make sure that you don’t use – talking about my Paleo days – coconut flour, which I used a lot of back then. And I kind of knew that I was getting worse during that Paleo period, and of course, coconut flour was one of many culprits. We know that we can have half a cup of coconut, desiccated, shredded coconut, but if you ground that down into a flour, it would make very, very little. So any amount in baking is probably going to be too high. Another thing that I often get asked about is almond meal. Almond meal as the main flour is going to be far too high in FODMAPs, but if it’s a minor component, then it would be all right. I make a cake that has potatoes in it, actually boiled mashed potatoes, and it has a little almond meal. We can have a quarter of a cup and stay low FODMAP, so if you’re only using a bit in the recipe, you’re going to be under that for sure.
Other flours that we can use that I, myself, don’t use and there’s no reason for that, you certainly can, are: buckwheat flour, sorghum flour, millet flour. Those are the main ones that I see other people using that are low FODMAP. I have heard a few people complain about sorghum flour causing issues, but that won’t be a FODMAP issue, it will be something else. So do a bit of research if you don’t want to use my particular recipe, and see how to create a flour combination that works. Because if you use just one of these flours alone, your product’s probably going to fall apart and not taste very good. I hope that’s given you some good information for your future baking which you should be doing, not buying processed foods. Thank you for watching and goodbye.